Sea Fan Corals
- This species of coral is of the “gorgonian soft coral family”, hence they are commonly known as the “Sea Fan”. They have a flower like appearance as they grow colonially flat fan like pattern. All species grow about 2 feet high and the colonies may grow up to 5 feet tall. This coral has a flexible structure, which sways with the water currents. The fan shaped colonies usually grow across the current, increasing their ability to hold prey. They are abundantly found in the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Bermuda and The West Indies.
Stag Horn Corals-
Found 10-160 feet below the surface in protected clear water. Their colonies cover large areas of the reef. Stag horn corals show tentacles in multiples of three. These tiny fingerlike tentacles emerge at night. They are most common in shallow reef environments with bright light and moderate to high water motion. They need oxygenated water. Environmental destruction has led to a dwindling of their populations and they are listed as a candidate species for the endangered species act of 1973.
Ivory Bush Corals-
Ivory bush corals show colonies that are clumps of short, thin, highly fused branches. They show dense branches that grow in clumps, which are characteristic to this coral. Their short branches are crooked in shape. The ivory bush corals thrive in areas of high sedimentation including hard bottoms, lagoons and black reef areas to depths of 40 feet. They are found in shallow reef environments and in rarity. Ivory bush corals thus survive in varying conditions of the environment.
Mountainous Star Corals-
The mountainous star corals are massive, mound shaped coral colonies found in the Gulf of Mexico, Flower Gardens, The Florida Key Reef, throughout the Caribbean and other areas of the Tropical Atlantic. They are healthy, fully pigmented star corals. They rise from 15020 feet below the waters just a few feet from the surface.
Colonies become pale due to loss of algal pigment due to exposure to high water temperature or solar radiation. This condition is reversible.
Finger Leather Corals-
The finger leather corals are commonly referred as spaghetti finger leather coral, soft finger corals or thin finger corals. They are slimy to touch. They are known to exist in various sizes. These corals are always seen attached to a small piece of rock. They periodically go through regeneration stage where they form a waxy coating all over their body and within a day or two they shed the top layer of their skin. This is a normal interesting phenomenon seen in them.
Brain corals show structure similar to that of the brain, hence the name “brain coral”. They are commonly found in massive colonies. These brain corals appear in green, gray, purple, brown or yellow-brown in color. Their colonies are found as low as 3-130 feet. Their unique shape and beauty adds attractiveness to the underwater world of coral reef. They are of at most commercial importance as they attract lots of tourist in the Caribbean Sea.
Elkhorn corals are large branching corals with thick and sturdy elk antler like branches. They have tree like colonies up to 13 feet across and 6.5 feet tall and flat tips of the branches. Over the last 10,000 years these are one of the three most important, unique Caribbean corals contributing to reef growth and development and providing essential fishery habitat.